“Makgeolli,” a commoner’s drink, helps keep our skin healthy?
“Makgeolli,” a commoner’s drink, helps keep our skin healthy?
  • 한정선 기자 (향장학 박사) (fk0824@k-health.com)
  • 승인 2020.07.14 09:13
  • 댓글 0
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Makgeolli, an alcoholic beverage that has been loved for a long time, has traditionally been called the commoner’s drink.

Although a cold draught beer which refreshes the body during a hot summer is also quite good, a bowl of makgeolli with ice floating in it also delivers a sense of refreshment that is by no means lacking.

However, is it true that makgeolli, which we have always thought to only be an alcoholic beverage, also helps maintain healthy skin?


CARD 1. The emergence of fermented cosmetics

With the recent introduction of fermented cosmetics useful for the skin, there has been higher positive response from consumers towards such products.

Makgeolli is a representative traditional fermented liquor made by fermenting a mixture of nuruk and steamed carbohydrates such as glutinous rice, non-glutinous rice, buckwheat, and barley. As a result, it is an optimal liquor due to its ingredients which are beneficial to the body and certainly its flavor after the aging process.

Fermentation is the “process in which microorganisms produce useful organic matter for humans under anaerobic conditions.” Although fermentation and spoilage go through similar processes, it is fermentation if substances beneficial to the body are produced and spoilage if harmful substances are produced.


CARD 2. Whitening ingredient, “kojic acid,” which is included in aspergillus in large amounts

The nuruk in makgeolli is an essential ingredient in the brewing process made by reproducing aspergillus.

In this aspergillus, “kojic acid,” which is also a listed ingredient of functional cosmetics, is contained in large amounts. Because of its strong whitening function and moisturization effect, kojic acid helps make the skin healthy.


CARD 3. Confirmation of makgeolli’s function as a whitening product

In the 2015 clinical trial which tested whitening mask pack treatment, natural nuruk treatment, and makgeolli treatment, it was revealed that natural nuruk and makgeolli reduced the number of blackheads and pores and makgeolli treatment particularly caused a large reduction in the melanin level. As a result, the potential of natural nuruk and makgeolli as functional ingredients was revealed.

Furthermore, in a paper published in 2013, it was reported that by-products of makgeolli production have the potential to be cosmetic ingredients with antioxidant, whitening, and wrinkle improvement functions.


CARD 4. Additional confirmation of antioxidant and antiwrinkle effects

In addition, in a cosmetic ingredient development research of nuruk, information regarding the suppression of wrinkle-related genetic development by nuruk, free radical scavenging activity (the ability to remove reactive oxygen species), and SOD-like activity (the removal of reactive oxygen species with enzymes that convert superoxide ion into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide) was reported.

This confirmed nuruk’s antioxidant and antiwrinkle effects.

In another research, when compared to vitamin C, which was the positive control group, antioxidant function appeared to grow stronger with a higher concentration of makgeolli extract content, raising the anticipation for makgeolli as a functional cosmetic ingredient.


CARD 5. Makgeolli which also helps with intestinal health

Furthermore, as makgeolli goes through the fermentation process, not only yeast and lactobacillus, but also dietary fiber, protein, and mineral content increase.

Since dietary fiber, which consists up to around 10% of all these contents, helps digestion along with yeast and lactobacillus, an appropriate amount of consumption also helps with intestinal health.

In an actual result of an animal experiment conducted by the “Traditional Food Research Group of Korea Food Research Institute,” when nuruk makgeolli was consumed, the number of beneficial bacteria increased while the number of harmful bacteria declined.

As a result, since makgeolli reduces the number of harmful bacteria and helps with digestion by improving the intestinal environment, we can also say with a little exaggeration that makgeolli is also a type of “inner beauty,” a concept that has been receiving the spotlight recently.


CARD 6. Makgeolli which is beneficial whether you drink it or apply it!

But do not overdrink!

From remembering the song, “A Glass of Makgeolli,” recently sung very nicely by a Korean trot singer, YongTak, the words, “what is ours is good,” suddenly came to my mind.

I hope that that the makgeolli nuruk ingredient, which is beneficial to our body whether we drink it or eat it, can quickly grow to be a proper cosmetic ingredient.

However, makgeolli is also a liquor.

One glass may be a beautiful memory. But since such memory can turn into a nightmare once the boundary is crossed, overdrinking must absolutely be avoided.

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